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African Union: Somalia Conflict Threatens Peace and Security in Africa

The African Union has described the conflict in Somalia as one of the most serious challenges for peace and security on the continent.

The AU's Peace and Security Council issued a statement Saturday in Addis Ababa calling on the international community to provide greater political will and resources.

Somalia's capital of Mogadishu has endured nearly a year of unrelenting violence as the government and allied Ethiopian troops battle Islamist-led insurgents.

The fighting has killed an estimated 6,000 people and displaced more than a half-million residents.

The AU peacekeeping mission to Somalia was supposed to number eight thousand troops. Only 16 hundred have been deployed.

The AU Peace and Security Council plans to meet again in mid-January to discuss future plans for its Somalia mission before the peacekeeping mandate expires.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.